It's my specialty, because it changed my whole experience of my own pregnancy and many of my prenatal clients report the same.
Dislosure: I have a second specialty, but after 27 years of general massage and close to 10,000 hours of hands-on experience, I think I'm allowed. It's necks, shoulders, and backs (and you have those). After the baby, it'll come in handy once you start carrying the baby, feeding the baby, falling asleep in odd positions, etc. (This way, I can help your spouse or partner also. )
From 1998 to 2002, I referred my prenatal massage clients out to those who were comfortable doing pregnancy massage. But what I heard was discouraging. Many clients reported that they felt as if they were treated as if they were fragile -- that no one was willing to address their muscle complaints. The therapists were cautious (which is what we are taught in massage school) and reluctant to do more than rub on lotion. No one wanted to "dig in." And forget about receiving a massage in the first trimester. I knew there had to be a better way.
In 2002, I took advanced prenatal massage training, so that I could do safe and effective work for my own clients who suddenly seemed to all be getting pregnant at once. I loved doing the work and the clients reported great improvements in their comfort levels.
Forward to 2004 and my own pregnancy. Even though I was mentally happy and excited to be pregnant, my body seemed to disagree. My back hurt, my hips hurt, I wasn't sleeping well, I often felt overwhelmed, fatigued, nauseous ... I needed all the benefits of a great massage -- benefits I had previously found by getting massage on a regular basis. I found that even the therapists from whom I'd been receiving deep tissue work for years were cautious, unable to get me quite comfortable in side-lying positioning, and reluctant to "dig in." I really did want to say, "my husband will rub on lotion for free, thank you." Once I made the commitment to drive further to someone with advanced training, my massages again became a satisfying way to make my body more comfortable and give me the overall sense of well being I expected from massage. The experience was so much better and I found being pregnant to be easier (and 40 weeks not quite so far away).
I took the advanced training again in 2006, knowing that I would get more from the training after having been pregnant myself. I was right. This time I pursued the certification. Since 2002, I've worked with hundreds of pregnant women to make their pregnancies more comfortable. I continue to take continuing education coursed in the prenatal field, as well as keep up on research. (Nurturing the Mother Prenatal Massage Certification)
I enjoy my work and feel really good about helping women to have a healthier and happier pregnancy. I'm happy to talk about my education and experience if you have questions.
Marta Magaw, LMT is a Licensed Massage Therapist licensed by the PA Massage Board (License# MSG009966) and a professional member of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP). She has been doing massage for 26 years professionally (and since she was 8 years old with family and friends). Before moving to Mt. Lebanon in 2014, she owned massage practices in Raleigh, NC and Chapel Hill, NC.
Marta graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South in 1987 with a B.A. in economics and from the Medical Arts Massage School in Raleigh, NC in 1998. After completing massage school, she did advanced training in prenatal massage through the nationally-recognized Nurturing the Mother pregnancy massage program. In addition, she has lots of continuing education focused on the neck, shoulders, and back.